New numbers from the US Energy Information Administration and highlighted by Ken Bossong’s Sun Day Campaign show that renewable electricity production through the first three quarters of 2017 was up 14.7%, while coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear power all decreased.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its “Electric Power Monthly” report on December 1, compiling data through to September 30, and it was good news for renewable energy sources, including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind, with total renewable electricity production increasing by 14.69% through the first three quarters of 2017 as compared to a year previously.
Conversely, EIA data show that electricity generation from fossil fuels and nuclear power declined by 5.41% — with coal and nuclear both dropping by 1.5% each, natural gas dropping by 10.7%, and oil down by 17.1%.
The overall picture also includes some interesting smaller-scale findings which are just as good news for the renewable energy sector. The combined electricity generation from utility-scale and small-scale solar grew by 43.2% over the first three quarters of the year and now provides almost 2% of total electricity generation.
Total electricity generated by non-hydro renewables has nearly reached 10%, with wind energy providing 6%. Including hydropower, renewables accounted for 17.7% of domestic electricity generated during the first three quarters of the year, compared to 19.5% provided by nuclear, and 62.5% provided by fossil fuel energy sources.
Given the recent passage of the Senate Republicans’ tax bill and its efforts — active or otherwise — to undermine the country’s renewable energy industry and support the fossil fuel industry, these figures must at least raise a moment’s pause for US legislators as they seek to place their hands on the scales of the fossil fuel industry.
“It’s no wonder congressional tax writers are seeking to undermine renewable sources while the White House contemplates tariffs to put the brakes on solar’s growth,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “The dirty energy sources they favour are rapidly losing ground and costly subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power are their only option for survival.”